We are told that because of things like this, the film is mostly only popular amongst old friends and “devotees of the I patricks day smoking T-Shirt .” This introduces a new form of magic; the I Ching is a spiritual Chinese text, written as a series of short, seemingly unrelated, almost surrealist paragraphs. The idea is that any pattern can be applied to the book, any reading order assigned for the individual paragraphs, and it will still result in a series of statements that describe the present and future of the individual creating the pattern. In this sense, it’s a very, very complicated version of Tarot magic. These same people are under constant threat from other, blacker types of magic: “visits from Qlippoth, Ouija-board jokesters, poltergeists, all kinds of astral-plane tankers and feebs,” because, apparently, these things are swarming the Zone these days. An angel, who is supposed to be responsible for watching these things, looks down from his vantage point, laughing.
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Then America, which was our chance to go “back to the garden” (as so many in the 60s sought to -see Joni Mitchell’s song, referenced previously in GR). But rather than patricks day smoking T-Shirt their ways, reject their old European death-drive, the early settlers instead chose to pollute the garden, kill the natives, and convert the vibrant, healthy land to one of death and industry. “What [Europe] could not use, it killed or altered.” (722). Even though the colonies broke away from Europe, they were already infected with the “mission to propagate death”. With World War II, America re-colonised Europe, (arguably not just physically during the war, but also conceptually with our unique form of capitalism and exceptionalism). I think a sentence here really gets at why Pynchon keeps incorporating mythology and old European folklore